Gail Jacobus

Gail Jacobus

September 29, 1940 ~ September 03, 2022


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Gail Garnar Jacobus, 81, passed peacefully in her sleep on September 3, 2022, in Vero Beach, FL. 

Gail was born on September 29, 1940, to Katherine Fitzherbert Garnar and Howard Lester Garnar in Verona, NJ and was pre-deceased by her parents and a younger brother George E. Garnar. 

She grew up in Verona, NJ, and graduated from Kimberly High School in 1958, as President.  At Skidmore College, she earned a degree in American Studies and graduated in 1962. In 1989, she completed her Masters of History from Drew University and published her thesis on the Vietnam War, a war her brother fought in and one that defined her generation. Gail loved American history but most of all she loved people and found her true calling to be teaching.

Gail (aka Mrs. J) taught American History at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ for over thirty years. Her intellectual curiosity, engaging classroom style, and passion made her beloved by both students and colleagues alike. To this day, her former students send notes about their experiences in her classroom. She was honored to be the History Chair, but her greatest honors came from her students who passed the AP History exams and dedicated their yearbooks to her.

Gail raised her family as a resident of Morristown, NJ. Known as a wonderful storyteller, she entertained children at the Morristown Public Library story-hour throughout the 1970s. She was an active member of the Junior League, a PEO lifetime member, and served on the Morristown Historical Society.

Gail was an avid player of tennis, golf, bridge, and refereed girls’ field hockey and lacrosse. She so enjoyed her tennis and golf groups, although she did not like to lose. She also enjoyed long walks and making floral arrangements as a part of the Garden Club.

Known for her infectious laugh, big smile, and easy conversation, she cherished her deep and lasting friendships over the years. She was a true friend to others and enjoyed their reciprocity in friendship.

Most of all she loved her children and did everything she could to provide them with an education and opportunity. She relished her time with them and was always the center of the party. Married to Roland “Jake” Austin Jacobus III for 61 years she had three children, Roland (Randy) Austin Jacobus (wife Ranee Jacobus), Katherine (Kathy) Jacobus, and Julie Jacobus Clarkson (husband David Clarkson). She’s the grandmother to 14 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.Gail was a true optimist and quick to recognize the strengths in others while being humble about her many gifts. Her shining example made us all better people and we will miss her.

For gift offerings in Memoriam, kindly give to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in memory of Gail Garnar Jacobus at

Arrangements are by Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home and Crematory, Vero Beach Fl.


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Sally Muscarella - neighbor and friend

September 13, 2022, 10:06 pm

Dear Jake, Kathy, Julie and Randy, My heart goes out to you in the loss of your beloved Gail. What an extraordinary wife, mother, teacher and friend. I will always remember Gail’s love for her family and students, her quick wit, her gifts for gardening and your gorgeous gardens and her caring for others, particularly in times of need. (And we remember some great parties had at your Eagle Nest home!) Gail was so brave throughout her illnesses. You are missed in Morristown and at Morris County. Miss seeing all of you. Sending much love at this sad time. love, Sally Muscarella

Bernadette McDonough

September 13, 2022, 11:10 pm

Gail was always so happy and kind . And a great part of our 18 holer golfers have missed her!!

Hildy Rivera Jackson - Former KPS student

September 14, 2022, 12:14 am

Mrs. Jacobus was my inspiration to pursue studies in history. I loved going to her classes. I will never forget the study we did on “the common man” throughout history. A true educator who sought to inspire her students and make us think.

Megan Spivey - KPS Student ('97-'01)

September 15, 2022, 2:56 pm

Mrs. Jacobus will forever be a legend to the thousands of students at KPS that she impacted, including me. I will always think of her when I hear ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’. Her support extended well beyond the walls of her classroom, especially with distinct sideline cheers during sports games! And the lessons she imparted weren’t bound by the topic of History. She embodied Maya Angelou’s quote about how people remember not what you said or did but how you made them feel. Mrs. J had a zest for life and exuberance that was contagious. Lifting up prayers for the many who loved her during this time of mourning and celebration of life – especially her family, who she was clearly most inspired by!

Marianne Espinosa - KPS parent and co-founder of Mock Trial Team

September 17, 2022, 7:49 pm

Gail’s smile could light up a room, just as her enthusiasm lit up the minds of her students. Her dedication was obvious to me as she willingly gave up months of Saturday mornings so we could have Mock Trial practice. It was a delight to know her and work with her and I am very grateful that my daughters had the privilege of being her students.

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